Thought For The Day #3327 August 2014
Broadcast 27th of August 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/wo0
So Banksy’s gotten his way again. His piece Mobile Lovers has made the financially struggling Bristol Boys Club hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even though Banksy admitted in a letter to the club that it is the result of criminal damage. He’s something of a modern-day Robin Hood and I love him.
There is a part of me that’s angry with his success. After all, he breaks the law without punishment. I’ve broken the law and spent the night in cells, it’s horrible. Not to mention that my cousin has graffiti’d in Bristol and been convicted for it. Why should Banksy be treated differently? Because his pictures are ‘prettier’?
Well the reason I treat him differently is because I think he’s discovered the confidence to have his own thoughts. Which is the mantra that was preached to me over and over at University: learn to think for yourself. I studied religion, which is a subject disturbingly loaded with the weight of other people’s thoughts. Religious Studies has no religious affiliations, it is neither Christian nor atheist. Instead it is the set of tools that allows us to come up with our own thoughts.
Banksy and Religious Studies challenge me to look at my most deeply held assumptions. Is my mobile phone liberating me or imprisoning me? What is ‘law’? Why do I think there’s an answer to the meaning of life? What are my own dogmatic beliefs?
Of course we shouldn’t all think like Banksy, because then we’re not thinking for ourselves. But I hope somewhere inside all of us there’s a personal Banksy ready to poke fun at our own particular laws and beliefs.